262017May

Discovering a Pleasant Purgatory

Utah may not be known for the bar scene, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t gems in the town of Salt Lake City. Take Purgatory, a place where you can go for a drink, a meal, or both. They opened in 2017 nearby a mortuary which will make you think twice now about its name. But hey, if this is where I need to go to cleanse my soul then order me up a few drinks. Cause I’m going to enjoy this place the best way I can, at the bar.

That’s the main thing you’ll notice when you enter the establishment. But along the wall and toward the back, there are tables for your dining needs. And for those looking for libations and fun, well, there’s plenty of bar games inside and out in their open area. The place is full of energy. And since it’s still relatively new, you and your friends may still find room here for a get together without waiting forever to waited on. We didn’t. After we ordered, the drinks came out fast, then the food. The portions were large, especially when we were looking for small late night bites. We got toast for goodness sakes. What we got were full on dinner meals. This place was definitely not your average bar food kinda place. That’s pretty cool. Just gotta be mindful next time I order food here.

I hope this place doesn’t get too popular because I do want to come back without dealing with elbow to elbow crowds.

Purgatory

62 East 700 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
+1 (801) 596-2294
www.purgatorybar.com

Verdict: Great spot for late night eats followed by drinks till closing.

172016Dec

A Taste of Hawai’i at Umeke’s

Not to be confused with the original Umeke’s, Umeke’s Fishmarket Bar and Grill is the full restaurant with a bar. Plenty of room here to meet up with friends to eat and drink. With all of Sunday dedicated to happy hour why wouldn’t anyone want to spend it here. Well, that’s if of course you were tired of the beach. But I digress. We wanted a glimpse of the Hawaiian food here in Kailua-Kona. This place kept coming up in our research so why not give it a try.

It’s a just a bit outside of downtown Kona along the same road you’d find Kona Brewing. Once you get in you’ll know you’re there. Plenty of people waiting for a seat. Plenty of souvenirs to buy along the wall. But not too much room to sit and wait. There’s a bar, but they don’t want people standing around there. It does make sense because you’ll end up crowding the tables near by.

For us, we were lucky a few seats opened up at the bar. Though it took 30 minutes for us to get seated.

Think of a sports bar slash restaurant and you have the vibe here figured out minus all the TVs. The place is lively though not at all loud. We needed to flag down the staff a few times as they tended other tables, but overall it wasn’t too bad. Our food came out in good time. Appetizers. Then the main courses. We ordered the heavier dishes and only included a couple orders of what they’re known for, the poke. I didn’t have any myself, so unfortunately I don’t have it in this write up. No worries, I will have this place again when I revisit the Big Island.

Umeke’s Fishmarket Bar and Grill

74-5563 Kaiwi Street
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
+1 (808) 238-0571
umekesfishmarketbarandgrill.com

Verdict: A great spot for Hawaiian food with it’s own personal touch.

 

302015Dec

Toki Underground

Every major city has seen an influx of ramen restaurants. Washington D.C. was no different. However, in 2012, Toki Underground hit the scene. Not only did they bring ramen, but they brought their creativity along with some new takes on Taiwanese favorites. In my opinion, saying this stuff was fusion really takes away from their creations. It’s more like New Asian in my book. Something you’ll find in Taiwan or Japan, but refined for the critical foodies here in the city.

We showed up for lunch right when it opened and saw a few groups already lining up. Once the door opens you walk upstairs into a place that I’ll describe as hip. You got a good view into the kitchen, a bar, and decor that’s a cross between street art and Anime pop. That’s cool in my book.

There were surprisingly a lot of seats and they were set up bar style. That it, you’re either sitting at the bar where they serve alcohol or along the walls where you sat side by side with everyone. In the middle was the table where the servers hung out. Pretty simple to turn around to flag one of them down. So you can say they were pretty attentive given this layout. I can’t say much about speed since we were about the third order to hit the kitchen and yes, our food came out quick, very quick.

Overall, I think this would be a regular spot for me, especially for dinner, if I lived in the area. But either way, I will be back at some point to try out more bowls.

Toki Underground
1234 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
+1 (202) 388-3086
tokiunderground.com

Verdict: Great bowl of ramen that’s full of taste, but don’t leave without trying their fried chicken gua bao.

152013Nov

Opposite, Yet Popular Bars

I say popular with a huge disclaimer that the term is very subjective. And when it comes to bars and nightlife, it’s about getting out and having a good time. Whether it was with good friends at a dive or drinking alone at a place with eye candy, you’re doing what you set out to do. Getting the fuck out of the house. And where to? I guess in this case, a popular one.

So first up, was the place on top of the Marina Sands Hotel. Popular, sure. As a tourist you’ve probably read or seen this place on TV. Lucky for them, we happen to be a tourists so off we go, paying a cover we could have avoided by going to the lounge, up the elevator to a club neighboring the pool. Oh next time I gotsa get a room here! People were still there enjoying the pool around 10pm. My type of rooftop party. Instead, we went inside through the dance floor, through the fog, and straight to the bar. Felt like a fool handing the bartender our complimentary drink tickets. Who does this at a club?? Apparently us. Didn’t want any rail drinks so we went with beers and hung around realizing that we truly didn’t belong in this club.

Off to texting a local friend for suggestions. This friend happens to love the speakeasy scene which has taken this city by storm. I think it’s gotten a little out of hand since there’s no real history here on speakeasy’s and their concoctions are more about novelty than actually a well made drink. Don’t worry, I know these bars aren’t all alike and there should be some good ones out there. And hey, no hipsters here or even long lines at the bar. Maybe the password at the door was keeping them out. Maybe it’s the hard to find entrance. No, it’s a mixology bar. So it takes forever to make your drink. At least there’s some interesting things to talk about at the bar. Like the big jars of WTF they have lying around that they occasionally go to and pour into your drinks. Oh man, if I stayed there I’d have two morning of egregious hangovers. Wisely, I decided to keep tonight’s dinner down.

Speaking of that, before all the drinking, I ate for once. Tsukemen Ramen at a decent place to launch off my next journey. Menya Musashi was happen to be around the corner from our hotel. Not too shabby for mall Ramen. I don’t think I’ll be back but I have to say the place was you typical benchmark place for Japanese noodles. What made it different were the types of broth you can get, white (pork), black (cha siu), or red (spicy) and of course, the fact that they had Tuskemen Ramen. You happen to be around and decide the line at Daikokuya downstairs is too long, come here. It’ll hold you over.

Ku De Tah
1 Bayfront Avenue
Marina Bay Sands SkyPark
+65 6688 7688

Verdict: Was nice to visit once. Never more.

The Library
49 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089153

Verdict: Sure, I’ll come back. But it won’t be the first place on my mind.

Menya Musashi
#01-16, Raffles City Shopping Centre,
252 North Bridge Road
63366500

Verdict: Meh. I think I’ll wait in the longer lines at other places.

042013Jul

Blast From the Past

Thursday was a light day, for work at the very least. But the main thing I remember about this day was going form local local places, like a mall close to the university. We went there to check out how graduate students go to bind their books. Not bad quality for about $10 Singaporean dollars. I was mainly interested after talking to my co-worker about it the night before. Didn’t think these places existed. Guess it’s a known thing among post four-year students like myself. Maybe one day I’ll strive for those extra degrees. Well, whenever I win the lottery.

Afterwards, it was off to one of the big things I had planned for the trip, meeting up with old co-workers in Singapore. Man, what a crew. I already miss the spunk these fools slash closet geniuses, bring out in a little tech talk. But one of the things I found interesting, was why they chose to stay in Singapore. They are expats. They are married. There’s other cities in Asia that do tech. Among their personal reasons, one was common, safety. Singapore was one safe city, next to Tokyo, but with a lower cost of living. I guess some of the crazy rules and punishments do work out in a way. Now if they could just do something about the heat.

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